Spotlight recently reported on a court case aimed at expanding access to breakthrough new treatments for cystic fibrosis (CF) and on how this debilitating disease is diagnosed in South Africa. Now, in Part 3 of this special series on CF, Catherine Tomlinson turns the spotlight on how the disease is currently being treated in the country, while the new treatments are still largely out of reach.
Professor Keertan Dheda has come a long way from growing up as one of three siblings in a one-bedroom apartment in a high-rise in central Durban. Biénne Huisman chatted to Dheda, now the head of the University of Cape Town’s Division of Pulmonology, and a Professor in Mycobacteriology and Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, about work-life balance, problem-solving that excites him, and a career dedicated to the fight against tuberculosis.
The World Health Organization estimates that over four million of the almost ten million people who fell ill with tuberculosis in 2020 were not diagnosed. One obstacle to more people being diagnosed is the fact that most current tests require people to produce sputum – something children and some people living with HIV find difficult. Tiyese Jeranji looks at a new fingerstick blood test that may help diagnose more people quicker.
In recent months, the world has seen unprecedented investment in new vaccines. Yet, while a COVID-19 vaccine proven to be safe and effective may be less than a year away, a new tuberculosis vaccine might only be ready to be rolled out in a decade, despite a massive head start over COVID-19. Amy Green takes a closer look at the race for a new vaccine for the world’s top infectious disease killer.